My friends, acolytes, worshipers, creditors, stalkers, cats who can read, and Ned Hickson,
To suggest my focus has been divided lately is to suggest Justin Bieber has been “acting out”. The truth is, I’ve been trying to craft Book Two into something a publisher would look at for a nanosecond rather than chuck like an old, dried-up milking cow, while writing posts to draw Jimmy Fallon to Niagara Falls, while writing a pitch worthy of the CBC, while trying to support my family, while…
I think its time for a little self-evaluation, don’t you? You don’t agree? Listen here, I’ve had just about all the sass I’m going to take from you. I wanted to avoid this but here we go; you’ve grown too big for those britches and now it’s time throw down.
What’s that? I misheard you? I have been meaning to get my auditory canals flushed out but who has the time? Let’s never fight again, all right? I’m so glad we cleared that up.
Now then, let’s get back to a subject I’m only beginning to get a handle on… me. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to “handle” myself. In fact, the stories I could tell you; there was a two-week period in high school when I couldn’t even grip a pencil…
But I digress.
So who am I?
Translated into a tongue older than Chuck Norris, “Robert Hookey” means “He who fails at virtually every quest he undertakes but is funny as hell to observe as he does so.” Okay, so it’s a muddled translation. Like Sumerian. Or Khloe Kardashian’s parentage. Let’s move on.
My childhood in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, was nothing to write home about – but that’s only because I never actually left home. Otherwise, I had many adventures, most of them involving ill-fated attempts to attract the opposite sex while attempting to uncover portals to distant, mystical lands such as Oz or New Jersey. I also spent a great deal of my formative years trying to avoid being mauled by wild animals such as dogs, possums and oxen. This allowed me to become quite the little speedster, a quality which has served me well in my current career as the most outspoken bellman in the entire sprawling metropolis of Niagara Falls.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. What do you know? It doesn’t just happen in the bedroom. Moving on…
After surviving my childhood and all the joy/despair/unspeakable tragedy it brought with it, I dove into high school – but thankfully, not the toilets – and all the rejection, self-discovery, and lonely nights it brought with it. After high school came some time away from my education and more adventures that left me feeling less than confident about my chances of not dying a virgin.
Then I went to college and everything changed. I became a man who quickly accepted and even embraced his role as the Universe’s bitch.
I won the heart of my on-again-off-again love.
I became a husband.
A bellman. But not just any bellman; a combination of luck, stubbornness, moxie, blind courage, and a hex from an ex-girlfriend or two (Kennedy women hold grudges, trust me), combined to form the personality known the world over as The Hook.
Now I wear many hats – and not just because my hairline has receded faster than Kim Kardashian’s dignity. I am a husband, father, blogging bellman, failed author, the worst DIYer in recorded history, compulsive tweeter, failed pitcher, dreamer, mocker of celebrities, and above all, a work-in-progress.
My dog sees ghosts that hover on the ceilings above our front foyer and living room. (Yes, a working-class bellman can have a foyer. Shut up.) These apparitions appear to be benevolent in nature and so we haven’t taken steps to remove them, even though they, like my dog, refuse to pay rent or chip in for groceries.
My daughter is a creative genius whom the world has yet to recognize. Her day will come and the world better watch out; its not going to know what hit it. I just hope she breaks through soon; her old man is getting tired of working for a living.
I have collected comic books ever since I escaped from that prison society refers to as a “womb” and while my collection has varied in size over the years, it currently stands at two thousand strong. Unfortunately, years of reading comics did not result in increased strength or invulnerability and so I suffered a tibial plateau fracture after an ill-fated foray into the DIY world which forced me to sit out the Summer of 2014, a circumstance that is akin to a lifetime in Hell for a bellman, both financially and physiologically. I no longer DIY or collect comics.
I hunt – but only for comic books. I miss the days when comic conventions were exclusively devoted to those four-color periodicals. Those were good days, filled with wall-to-wall vintage and new comics, drunken artists and writers, the odd celebrity, scantily clad women whose services were paid for by nerds who saved their allowance all year long, classic toys, and of course, many, many brawls.
Oh, how I miss the pure adrenalin rush of thousands of geeks locked in literal Mortal Kombat. Those days are long gone ( thank you, bleeding heart activists), but here are a few tips I discovered over the years that will prove invaluable if you ever find yourself in a comic convention donnybrook.
ONE: Keep a powerful flashlight handy. Many nerds are accustomed to the low lighting of their parents’ basement and can be scared away by a strong burst of light.
TWO: Never mind a light saber, always carry a “foam” battle ax when attending a con. Light sabers tend to bend after they’ve come in contact with a few geeky skulls. I called mine Eric the Red, because once Eric was unleashed, the convention walls and floor were soon covered in blood.
THREE: Scream. A lot. Scream like a Kardashian in a Senate hearing. Nerds are a cowardly and superstitious lot and therefore frighten easily. Start shrieking and they’ll run away instantly and you can strike from behind, Geneva Convention be damned!
FOUR: Throw a pile of girlie magazines into the battling crowd. The poindexters will turn their attention to the adult publications, providing you with a perfect opening. Fish in a barrel.
FIVE: Yell, “Look, there’s Batfleck!”, and point to an individual who resembles Ben Affleck. The assembled crowd will pounce on that poor bastard like Katie Couric at a Las Vegas buffet. This should provide you with enough time to get to safety.
And that, my friends, concludes this installment of my life so far. Introducing too much Hook into a human nervous system can result in many side effects such as headaches, sonic diarrhea, hives, hallucinations, an erection lasting longer than four hours (whether you have a penis or not), and an uncontrollable desire to shed your clothes and run wild through the streets in search of government-grade cheese.
Until next time, see you in the lobby, kids…